FCO Travel Advisories, visa and passport information
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office issues formal advice regarding travel to different countries - this can range from basic information such as "beware of pickpockets" to complete travel bans to specific countries, or suggested limitations on countries or areas which you might visit.
Great Experience Travel cannot be held liable for any financial losses or loss of enjoyment of holiday arrangements booked through us which arise out of your non-compliance with any FCO Advisories which are applicable to any of the countries that you are visiting.
Visa and Passport information
If you hold a full British Citizen’s (GBR), EU or EEA passport, you are travelling for a period of 30 days or less, for the purpose of leisure, you can currently travel to many countries, especially around much of Western Europe, without the need to secure a visa in advance of travel to the destination of your choice. There are other countries, such as Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Vietnam etc., where you are not required to apply for a visa in advance, but you need to complete visa application forms on arrival in the country, and are required to pay a visa fee locally. There are other countries, such as USA, Canada and India, where you are required to apply and pay an official fee online for an ‘electronic travel authority’ (ETA) in advance. In the case of Australia, you require an ETA, however, there are various ways of applying for this authority, without the need to pay for it. There is a further group of countries, including Russia and China, where you are required to submit a formal visa application some weeks in advance of your travel, and are required to pay a fee. In some cases, for example, with visa applications for Russia, you may be required to present yourself for a personal meeting at the country’s Embassy or a Consular Offices around the UK.
If you are making a booking in person through our office or through this website, we will advise you automatically whether you need to apply for a visa/ETA for the country/countries that you are travelling to, and will assist you with the completion of the necessary paperwork. However, if you are making a booking within 7 working days of your departure, you are responsible for checking whether you need a visa/ETA for the country/countries that you are visiting, and securing the appropriate paperwork in advance of your departure.
For comprehensive information about visas, and the relevant application processes that you need to follow, please visit the Benmar Passport and Visa Services website, www.benmar-ltd.co.uk.
Please note that separate visa application processes apply if you are planning to stay for an extended period in a particular country, or are travelling to that country for purposes other than leisure travel. For example, if you are travelling to Russia or China on business, rather than for a holiday, even if you are only combining a couple of business meetings with a holiday, then you will need to apply for a Business visa, rather than a Tourist visa, and there are separate application processes for this that you will need to follow.
For most countries, you are required to have at least six months’ validity on your passport from your proposed date of return. However, most EU/EEA countries will accept three months. Please check with us before you travel.
If you are travelling around the UK by flight or ferry, for example, flying from Southampton to Jersey, or taking a ferry crossing from Liverpool to Belfast, you are recommended to travel with your passport. However, some other forms of officially-issued photo-ID documents are suitable, for example, a bus pass with your photo, or a photo-driving license.
If you are not travelling on a full British Citizen’s (GBR), EU or EEA passport, but that of another country, even if you hold a long-term or permanent resident’s permit for the UK, then you should contact the Embassy or local Consular Office for the country, whose passport you hold, and seek their advice about the passport and visa requirements of any countries that you are planning to visa.
Please note that some countries, for example, New Zealand, Japan, the British Virgin Islands etc., do not charge you a visa fee to enter the country, but do charge you a ‘departure tax’ instead. This is usually levied at the airport.
With many countries, including the USA, Brazil, Japan etc., when you complete your immigration paperwork on arrival, you will be given part of the same form that you will need to present again, when you leave the country. It is essential that you look after this form carefully, as it can create problems for you, including the requirement to pay a fine, if you lose it and cannot provide it to the Immigration Authorities on departure.
Please note that Great Experience Travel cannot be held liable for costs, disappointment or any form of reimbursement if you fail to abide by the visa requirements for any countries that you are visiting.